teej: (feet)
Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my reading page but hope to do so over the weekend.

In the meantime I wanted to post some more ways in which those who are able to can donate to support relief efforts in Pakistan.

Shirkat Gah, a Pakistani women's rights organisation:

Shirkat Gah - Women’s Resource Centre (SG), Pakistan, is actively engaged in providing relief to those affected and coordinating efforts across Pakistan through its partner community based organizations in synchronization with all three Shirkat Gah offices in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. We would like to appeal to all to help us in raising funds. Your contribution will be highly appreciated and will be used to set up medical camps and purchase goods necessary for immediate relief such as food items, medicines, cooking utensils, clothing and shoes (the latter two items can also be donated to Shirkat Gah Offices). The funds will later be used for the particular needs of communities based on a reassessment of the situation.

There are details at this link (PDF) about how to donate to them. You can now also donate to Shirkat Gah online via MADRE (an international women's rights organisation)

Since my last post where I mentioned Hirrak  Development Centre, I have also found out that Avaaz is fundraising for them (as well as other local organisations - you can donate online here.

teej: by <user name=roxicons site=livejournal.com> (narelle craven)
If you're wary of the big aid organisations and looking for a local organisation in Pakistan to donate money, the Enough blog has information about how to contact Hirrak. See this post: support for people impacted by disaster in Pakistan.
teej: by <user name=collapsingnight> (rain)
Good points made in relation to yesterday's announcement that the police officer who attacked Ian Tomlinson (who died at the G20 protests last year) will not be facing criminal charges:
Madam Miaow: No police charged in Ian Tomlinson demo death
Liberal Conspiracy: A jury should decide the cause of Ian Tomlinson's death
(If you haven't seen it and can face it, video footage of the attack is on the Guardian website. Also, if you're in the UK, you may wish to sign the 38 degrees petition: Justice for Ian Tomlinson)

On the announcement that Yarl's Wood detention centre 'families wing' is to be closed:
Phil Shiner and Daniel Carey: Yarl's Wood itself is the moral outrage
(Medical Justice archives news coverage related to detention)

Plus, some good blog posts on bad media representations:
Muslimah Media Watch: What Not to Write: More on Bad Veil Headlines  (this is a follow-on from this post: Your Complete Guide to Bad Burqa Puns)
Mediahacker: How to write about Haiti

Lucy

Jul. 6th, 2010 05:32 am
teej: (lucy)


RIP Lucy, 1996-2010. Loved you loads.

teej: by <user name=roxicons site=livejournal.com> (susan najarian)
so i noticed something that the politicians and the media are suddenly not talking about post-election while before they couldn't stop talking about it: immigration.

predictably the Conservatives/Liberal Democrats coalition agreements have resulted in the LibDems already sacrificing their pre-election commitment for an amnesty for (some) undocumented migrants. so that clearly wasn't a dealbreaker, or anywhere even near the top priorities for them.

on the absolute about-fucking-time upside the coalition statement does say "We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes" and it is a credit to all the anti-detention campaigners who have been working for this. and now we must hold them to it.

but this is not enough. politicians and the media stirred up and played into anti-immigrant racism in their election campaigns. now they've gone all quiet on the issue. but racism and xenophobia has not  magically gone away.

any hope (if there ever was any) that the government will be involved in challenging anti-immigrant racism has been quashed. back to business as usual it seems. LIbDems have been told to pipe down about the amnesty, and any talk which doesn't centre the need to 'secure borders' or 'implement limits' has been firmly re-established as beyond the pale.

in this climate the campaign to end child detention can be successful (and it must) only because it doesn't actually challenge any of the racist logic which underpins immigration restrictions. instead it reinforces divisions between 'good' and 'bad'  immigrants, deserving and undeserving, innocent victims vs 'illegal' criminals.

and thousands of children, while they may not be detained, will of course still be deported and labelled 'illegal' at the same rate as before. 
teej: by <user name=collapsingnight> (keyboard)
weirdly, getting new icons doesn't magically cure my dw-writers block. but hey, who cares? i've got icons! 
teej: (hedgehog)
Newsweek takes on feminism on behalf of young white girls everywhere

I haven't read the original Newsweek article and didn't know anything about the ensuing discussion until now, but I found this blog post and discussion between Latoya Peterson and Thea Lim on Racialicious really worth reading. It's a really great dissection of the continuing harm caused by white feminism* exclusion of women of colour and universalising white middle class women's experiences. and how gross and predictable that when the authors were called on it, they pull the 'but we were talking about women not race', 'we all have to stick together' AND the 'here's our WOC friend who agrees with us' crap! 

i think when this happens in big media outlets (as it does over and over and over), there's even less chance of the people being called out being held accountable because they're the ones with big institutional privilege - they don't have to listen because they can assume that the vast majority of their readers will never hear the critique. Plus the mass dissemination has so much more power in terms of influencing people's understanding of what feminism is and should be. That Latoya and Thea had the energy to engage with this so thoroughly (again!) is totally commendable. i hope that the authors of the piece take the time to actually read, reflect and learn from it (but i won't hold my breath!)

And while i'm at it... On  this side of the pond, I've been fuming about the 'Women' documentary on BBC4 earlier this month where the filmmaker interviewed 8 big name white feminists to represent the entirety of 'second wave' feminism, a bunch of mostly white and all middle class heterosexual women, all in long term relationships with the fathers of their children, to represent the entirety of the experience of modern motherhood, and mostly white members of the London Feminist Network to represent contemporary British feminism.... And again the predictable excuses on how this excludes women of colour have been forthcoming from the documentary-maker Vanessa Engle - see her comments in this review on the F-word. Sigh. I just hope not many people watched it...

*Razia Aziz's definition of 'white feminism', which I like a lot.
teej: (Default)
I wanted to write something about the Women's Liberation Movement @ 40 conference I attended in Oxford the weekend before last. These are really just some rough thoughts, but i've been meaning to write this for a week now and i'm forgetting more by the minute! This blogging business is so not my thing.

But anyway, the conference. The "@ 40" is a reference to it being the 40th anniversary of the first WLM conference in Britain, which was held in the same venue (Ruskin College) 27 February - 1 March 1970.

I was very ambivalent about it from the start I have to say (but then again, whenever am I not about these things), because I'm really wary of things that sound like celebrations, in particular when it comes to dominant forms of feminism (well that is basically what i'm writing my Phd about so it's not surprising).

One of the things that seemed problematic from the callout onwards was a confusion around what the conference was supposed to be and who it was supposed to be for. The registration fee of £70 (£40 for unwaged/students) suggested it was an academic conference but the aim ("to bring together feminists and women's activists across borders (spatial, generational, political and demographic and others) to engage in debate and discussion around contemporary issues") suggested it was an activist conference meant to build on the original WLM conferences. Which made the high registration fee very problematic to say the least!

Unfortunately this confusion was not allayed at the conference itself. There were quite a few academic papers which sat uneasily with other discussions - and I also heard women say they felt excluded by the academic content because of the language and tone of the discussion. Of course i'm not suggesting that academia and activism doesn't or shouldn't overlap - of course they do all the time. But if you're trying to bring them together at a conference, you really need to give it a lot of thought.

Thankfully there was some room for critical reflection on the original conference - it wasn't all just a celebration. My favourite part was Gail Lewis' saturday morning keynote lecture 'Feminist Subjects' in which she talked about how the British women's liberation movement represented feminism in the image of whiteness (as a structure of power), and how the "origin story" of modern feminism is repeatedly claimed by white women even when the evidence is clear that women of colour have always been part of shaping feminist politics.

She ended her paper by saying that while some significant progress has been made in relation to race within feminism (I think this was specifically talking about academic feminist thought - I think this varies quite wildly between different spaces!) class has been more difficult to deal with. A very important point. But I thought it was interesting that the discussion which followed from the floor seemed to focus on this last point entirely - racism in the Women's Liberation Movement appeared to not be a topic the mostly white audience was as keen to discuss.

There was a good intervention on class issues and  the lack of childcare in  the form of a leaflet that was being handed out throughout the conference - it's available online here.

This whole idea that the legacy of the women's liberation movement is something which needs to be passed on wholesale to a 'new generation' is so problematic in itself. I was struck by the fact that the significance of hosting the event in the same venue as the original conference took priority over hosting it in a venue which was wheelchair accessible! (and this even though there was a paper on feminism and disability)

My problem with valorising the past is that exclusions, mistakes, ignorances get repeated because there isn't an honest discussion about them. And the second (and third, forth...) time a 'mistake' is made it cannot be attributed to innocent ignorance anymore. It becomes wilful.

This isn't some big attack on the conference organisers. But the fact that this conference repeated the same exclusions as the original WLM conference (and then some - at the first conference at least there was a creche) is just a sad, and made dominant forms of feminism just that little bit more irrelevant to the majority of women than it already is. 
teej: (Default)
Well this made for cringeworthy viewing: David Cameron gaffs in interview with Gay Times

Apparently the Conservative Party are on "a journey" towards accepting that gay people should have rights... or maybe not so much eh?
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